Portrait Lighting & Posing I


Natural Light & On Location Lighting 


Lighting Equipment Provided


  • The basics of portrait photography: lenses & focal lengths, making the subject feel at ease, lighting & composition. 


  • Modifying natural light: Identify the situations that you need a modifier, and to use it correctly.

  • On location lighting: add off-camera flash and softboxes.

  • Flash triggers provided during class for Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fuji users.

  • Understanding the science of light to make light work for you

  • Small class size (maximum 6 attendees)

  • Everyone gets a chance to shoot during the classroom demonstration time, not just the instructor (the goal is to help everyone correct any mistakes in the photos based on the knowledge of light)

  • Learn the principles in posing, and apply only 5 base poses that lead to many different variations.

  • Be sensitive to poses that will make the subject look weird in the photos, and learn how to correct them.

  • An easy-to-follow workbook will be given for each attendee during the class

  • You don't have to invest in your lighting equipment until you fully understand how light works: A comprehensive list of lighting equipment and gears will be delivered digitally after the class

  • This class is for adults only (18+)

  • This class will not be rescheduled due to rainy weather as there are sheltered areas in the outdoor field trip locations 

We provide reflectors.

**Attendees are expected to bring their own equipment for this class: cameras and lenses. We will provide the flashes & the triggers for the Canon, Sony, Fuji and Nikon systems.


Beginner 101 & 102 & 103 Photography Workshops OR ability to use the manual mode of your camera: Attendees are required to adjust the exposure in the manual mode VERY proficiently.

Recommended lenses:

85mm F1.2, F1.4, F1.8

50mm F1.2, F1.4, F1.8

70-200mm F2.8, F4

24-70mm F2.8, F4

24-105mm F4

18-135mm F3.5-5.6

28-70mm F3.5-5.6


Building a portable studio is no longer taught in this workshop as it has been moved to Portrait Lighting & Posing II

Workshop Date

January 12th 2020


Quick Facts

Workshop time:


(Part 1: Classroom session & demonstration;

Part 2: Outdoor photoshoot)

*Lunch: 30 mins only, please bring your own lunch*

Classroom session: 535 Mission Street, 14th Floor, San Francisco

Outdoor photoshoot: SF Financial District

Natural light & On Location Lighting

Understand the science of light and correct any mistakes in the photos based on scientific knowledge (rather than guessing)

Easy-to-remember posing skills

Tuition fee: $350/person

Why do you have to attend this Portrait Workshop?


Photosprouts' Mantra:

"Observe (the light) before your shoot"

Here in Photosprouts, we want you to be a successful photographer.


There are portrait classes out there that merely arrange attendees to photograph models under natural sunlight (or at most add a reflector), Photosprouts shows attendees how to use off-camera flashes & modifiers in the right circumstances to create stunning portraits that make your work stand out in the highly competitive photography industry. The class size is very small (6 attendees only). You will be practicing with a beautiful model with a small group of photographers, and receive sufficient individual attention from the instructor and the model.

Highlights of this workshop

1. Modifying Natural Light

  • Easy

    • Natural Light

    • High key portraits

    • Lenses & focal lengths

    • Camera settings, aperture and depth of field

  • More Challenge

    • In what situations do you need to modify natural light?

    • Make the subject feel at ease

    • Use posing tricks to fully take advantage of the light

The model will be wearing the same pink dress and the white gown during this part of the workshop. These are the photos that you'll taking in this workshop.

Sometimes, adding a modifier changes the game. However, it isn't necessarily true.

Will you add a reflector to this photo? Why and why not?

Make light work for you and turn your work into a piece of art.

2. Get ready for On Location Photoshoot: Learn to use off-camera flashes and add a softbox

  • Easy

    • Confidently change the ambient and flash exposure by changing the camera settings

    • Use modifiers to change light quality, intensity and direction

  • More Challenge

    • Replicate natural light from the window with an off-camera flash

    • Add more flashes: create hair light with another flash

    • Fix any problems in the photo based on the Science of Light, rather than guessing

The model will be wearing the same red dress during this part of the workshop.

No flash

Off-camera flashes and softbox added

How many light sources? Where were they?

Um... the background looks plain, can we find a better angle?

Better composition + off camera flashes & softbox

Get ready for the outdoor photoshoot!

3. Outdoor Photoshoots

  • Easy

    • Find an open shade

    • Basic portrait composition

  • More challenge

    • Adding off-camera flashes and modifiers to make your work stand out

    • Combine your ability to see and modify light, compositional skills and posing to create the photos that you love

    • ​​Define your style by shooting in different combinations of camera and flash exposures: Light & airy, vs high contrast style

Learn to cut off harsh light with modifiers 

Without light modifiers

Adding an off-camera flash to illuminate the subject just like natural light

Be confident to create your own style:

Different combinations of ambient and flash exposures will determine how your photos look like!

Learn how and apply to your portrait sessions (engagement/ kids & family/ headshots/ high school seniors).

Light and Airy Style

High contrast Style

Improve photo compositional skills and take awesome photos everywhere in your routine lives

Collaborative Learning and Team Work

Growth happens when you are outside of your comfort zone

Take the light challenge in a helpful, supportive environment

Our models

We have the best model team. The girls are patient with students, so they learn through trying various lighting experiments

Behind the scenes & students' work

What Do Attendees Think?

The Instructor's Work

Most of the photos below were shot in low light intensity situations, an off-camera flash was added to illuminate the subjects and mimic natural light.



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535 Mission Street, 14 Fl, San Francisco CA 94105 USA  | hello@photosprouts.com | T: 510 410 4121